BRX 1: First Days

By Anne Mead

Sunday morning 12 high school students came together with 4 leaders. Some knew each other, some didn’t. It did not seem to matter, though. They all shared the same thing- a feeling of excitement, and utter joy for their upcoming expedition adventure! Yes- that’s right folks, BRX 1 2012 has kicked off and the team is phenomenal.

The group gathered at base camp for drop off, quickly said goodbye to parental guardians, and jumped right into group games and initiatives. Once learning everyone’s names, they struck out for the BRX base camp also known as Reasonover. Expeditioners spent the first afternoon and evening settling into their new home and creating the foundation for their community. Like all GRP sessions, BRX opens with a respect circle. In addition, expeditioners establish “group norms” or guidelines to follow while living in a communal environment. 

Monday, expeditioners broke up into 2 groups and set out to explore the Reasonover land. One group spent the majority of their time tracking. They saw bear prints, deer nests, and tons of scat. They also ventured to the old gold mine around Reasonover and visited the bog area. The other group took off on a creek hike. Their adventure was filled with lots of fungus, wildflowers, an abandoned moonshine still, and many teachable moments. The evening was spent carving wooden spoons around the fire and getting to know one another.

Tuesday, the expedition ventured on their first out of camp trip to go climbing at Big Bradley Falls in the Saluda, NC area. The group met climbing coordinator, Evan Townsend, and Expedition Director, Stephen Mead, for a fun filled day. Expeditioners had to rappel down into the gorge to even access the additional climbs set up. Each expeditioner tried at least one climb and many multiple climbs. Expeditioner Jaya exclaimed, “I feel soooo accomplished!”All in all is was an awesome day.

Tomorrow, the expeditioners will begin preparing for their backpacking trip! The fun just doesn’t stop!